October 09, 2021


Pope Manufacturing Co. (1904-1914)
Hartford, Connecticut 

This is a Pope-Hartford radiator script (1906-1914)   flickr 

Colonel Albert A Pope established the Pope Manufacturing Company in 1876 and went on to become America's largest producer of bicycles marketed under the trade name of Columbia. In 1896 Pope entered the automotive field with an electric car also called Columbia produced in collaboration with the Electric Vehicle Company. The Columbia continued in production until 1913 but in 1904 the Pope-Hartford was introduced along with a number of other new Pope motor vehicles built in different locations (see Pope-Toledo, Pope-Tribune and Pope-Waverley).

The first Pope-Hartford was a 10 hp single-cylinder car offered in runabout and tonneau body styles. A two-cylinder model tonneau was added in 1905 and a four-cylinder touring model followed in 1906. It was 1911 before a six-cylinder model arrived. The Pope-Hartford was offered in a wide range of body styles, far too many for a production that was only in the 500 to 700 a year range. Commercial vehicles were also produced from 1906, including trucks of up to 3-ton and 5-ton capacity and some public utility vehicles, including ambulances and motorized fire apparatus. By 1913 Pope-Hartford was in receivership and the last vehicles appeared in 1914.


The first Pope-Hartford cars, introduced in 1903 for the 1904 model year, and subsequent single-cylinder and two-cylinder models, did not carry an emblem. However, the Pope-Hartford name was displayed on a small brass nameplates usually attached to the rear of the vehicle, see example shown below. These Pope-Hartford nameplates are rare.

This is a Pope-Hartford nameplate (1904-c1906)   ms
Size: approx 78mm wide 40mm high

The Pope-Hartford name was also displayed on brass sill plates, see example shown below:

This is a Pope-Hartford sill plate (1904)   bonhams

The first Pope-Hartford hubcaps displayed the "Pope" name only, see example shown below:

This is a Pope hubcap (1903-1904)    ms

Although most restored Pope-Hartford models display an elaborate "Pope-Hartford" script mounted on the radiator core, similar to the script shown above at the top of this post, most original period photos of Pope-Hartford cars do not show a radiator script before 1906. This is so, even on cars taking part in well publicised events such as the Glidden Tour, see example shown below, when one might expect to see radiator scripts used for publicity purposes. 

Pope-Hartford taking part in Glidden Tour (1906)    dpl

The "Pope-Hartford" radiator script first appeared in 1906, possibly as an optional accessory, and the radiator script is seen on some Pope-Hartford advertisements, see example shown below:

Pope-Hartford Model F with rad script (1906)  ebay

Pope-Hartford Model F close-up showing radiator script (1906)

This radiator script is more clearly displayed on the following 1907 Pope-Hartford advertisement:

Pop-Hartford Model L with rad script (1907) ebay

Pope-Hartford Model L close-up showing radiator script (1907)

This Pope-Hartford radiator script is seen on the photo shown below of a 1906 Model F but the date of the photo cannot be confirmed:

1906 Pope-Hartford Model F with radiator script dragoneclassic

Other original period photos continue to show radiators without a script, see example shown below taken at the 1909 New York Auto Show:

Pope-Hartford cars at the New York Auto Show (1909)  dpl

The following are examples of Pope-Hartford radiator scripts displayed on restored models. Most Pope-Hartford radiator scripts on restored models are reproduction scripts. Original Pope-Hartford radiator scripts are rare.

Pope-Hartford Radiator script 

Pope-Hartford radiator script 

The small emblem at the top of the radiator shown above is the patent plate for the Pope-Hartford radiator design, see below:

Pope-Hartford radiator design patent plate

The following Pope-Hartford hubcap design is believed to have been used from about 1906:

This is a Pope-Hartford hubcap (c1906-1910)  bonhams

The Pope-Hartford had a change in nameplate from about 1906 to 1910, see example shown below, although I cannot confirm these dates exactly. This Pope-Hartford nameplate may have been displayed on the dashboard and is very rare:

This is a Pope-Hartford nameplate (c1906-1910) sam
Size: 54mm high 44mm wide

The Pope-Hartford dashboard nameplate design changed again from about 1911, see example shown below:

Pope-Hartford Model W dashboard with nameplate (1911) conceptcarz

This is the painted metal Pope-Hartford dashboard nameplate shown below, which depicts a Pope-Hartford radiator with a radiator script. This Pope-Hartford nameplate is rare.

This is a Pope-Hartford nameplate (c1911-1914)   mjs
Size: 64mm wide 50mm high

The following hubcap design is believed to have been used from about 1910:

Pope-Hartford Model 33 hubcap (1913)   bonhams

The face of this Pope-Hartford hubcap appears in many collections of early emblems:

This is a Pope-Hartford hub face (c1910-1914)    mjs
Size: 68mm diameter

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